No. 14, Separate
21st March 1865
Sir,
I have the honor to transmit a copy of Resolutions passed by the Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island on the subject of Union with British Columbia, and in doing so I will shortly trace their history.
They were introduced byMrManuscript image Mr De Cosmos one of the Members for Victoria and passed on the 27th January 1865 after a warm debate, by a majority of 8 to 4.
It was thereupon alleged by the minority that the majority did not fairly represent public opinion, and to test this fact Mr De Cosmos who proposed and Mr C.B. Young who opposed the Resolutions (being two Members for the City of Victoria) agreed to resign their seats,andManuscript image and went before their constitutents for re-election, which resulted in the return of Mr De Cosmos and Mr McClure both advocates of Union and a tariff by a large majority.
The majority of the House of Assembly in favour of Unconditional Union with British Columbia is now I believe 11 to 4 and I have no doubt that a dissolution of the House would undoubtedly increase that majority by two more.
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I submitted these Resolutions to the Legislative Council for their information, and the majority present being ex officio Members, resolved that it was inexpedient for the Council to express any opinion on the subject, but two dissenting Members Messrs Finlayson and Rhodes recorded their views in the Protest herewith.
I am in a position to know that the majority if not all the ex officio Members are infavourManuscript image favour of Union with some small differences of opinion on matters of detail, and that they refrained from a public expression of their opinion from a desire to avoid possible complication, and with a view to giving their untrameled support to such measures as Her Majesty's Government may deem most fitting on a future occasion.
The local Legislature of Vancouver Island have thusIManuscript image I think adopted the only course by which the union of these Colonies can be satisfactorily effected, namely, leaving conditions and details even to the form of Government to your decision.
I enclose newspaper copies of the debates on the subject, and will reserve my further observations for another Despatch of this date in reply to yours dated 30th April 1864, No 2.
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I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Governor
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
See 4619, 4620 & 4622.
ABd 16 May
TFE 12 June
CF July 4
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Mr Elliot
I have searched the Correspondence since the date of this Despatch, but can find nothing to shew that the public feeling in V. Couver Island in favor of the Union of the two Colonies has undergone any change.
VJ 12 Jan: 66
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Newspaper clipping, unnamed, reporting resolutions passed in support of union with British Columbia, confirmed by House of Assembly on 27 January 1865, signed by R.W. Torrens, Clerk of the House.
Minutes by CO staff
Union
under such Constitution as H.M. may be pleased to grant.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
*
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Extract from Minutes of the Legislative Council, 2 March 1865, reporting Finlayson's proposed resolutions in favour of union and the decision of the majority in support of an amendment to decline any expression of opinion on the subject, signed by E.J. Nesbitt, Clerk of the Council.
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Extract from Minutes of the Legislative Council, 6 March 1864, reporting the protest of Henry Rhodes and Finlayson against the amendment recently passed by the majority as noted above, signed by E.J. Nesbitt, Clerk of the Council.
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Newspaper clippings, unnamed, reporting the union debates in the House of Assembly, as per despatch (four pages).
Kennedy, Arthur to Cardwell, Edward 21 March 1865, CO 305:25, no. 4618, 152. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V65014.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)